Archive for Coolest Piercings You May Have Never Heard Of

valley, or sacral piercing

The “valley piercing” is a surface piercing of the lower back that lies right above, or sometimes within, the cleft of the buttocks.  This funny and interesting contemporary piercing has also been known by many other names, including “butt crack piercing,” “sacral piercing,” and “coccyx piercing.”

Like most surface piercings, the valley piercing can be performed with either a single hollow piercing needle, two hollow needles, or the punch and taper technique, depending upon the preference of the client and the piercer.  Due to the area of the body in which it resides, this type of piercing can be difficult both to clean and to completely heal, and because of constant movement there’s a higher rate of rejection or migration than average.

 coccyx surface piercing

Valley piercings are worn almost exclusively with surface bars, though flexible PTFE or tygon bars have been used from time to time.  They can be pierced both vertically and horizontally, and sometimes will sit slightly higher up on the back.  As an alternative to the traditional surface piercing, some choose to get dermal piercings in the area instead.  Those who have tattoos across the lower back may also use valley piercings or valley dermals strategically to accent their body art.

 fun dermal body jewelry

Although valley piercings have been around since at least 2007, they remain rare to this day in both the US and UK.  For a long time these piercings were called by interesting alternate names by both the persons who wore them and the artists who pierced them, causing them further anonymity.  Many piercers throughout the western world have yet to even perform one, making them some of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

transverse ear lobe piercing

Tired of the same old ear piercings? If you are looking to get a less common ear piercing that looks cool and has minimal pain then this might be the one for you. A transverse, or horizontal, lobe piercing is an ear piercing that is done the long way on the earlobe instead of piercing from front to back.  The length of the piercing is parallel to the sagittal plane, or vertical plane, of the lobe. The transverse piercing does not pierce the cartilage, but goes only through the skin of the ear lobe. The jewelry sits as horizontal as the anatomy will allow. When wearing a barbell, one ball emerges on each end and sits on the ear with no shaft exposed.

The transverse lobe piercing is done most often as a freehand piercing, meaning no clamps or forceps are utilized, due to the type and amount of tissue. A receiving tube is often used. The exact piercing spots are marked then a 14 or 16 gauge hollow needle is inserted from the outside edge of the lobe to the medial edge of the ear lobe. Then, the piercing jewelry is inserted and fixed into the ear. Much of the technique involved with this piercing depends on the anatomy of your ear and whether your lobes are attached or not. Some piercers may use a curved needle on attached earlobes while a straight needle would generally be used on earlobes that are unattached.

attached and detached ear lobes

The look of the piercing makes it seem as though there would be prolonged agony as the needle passes through that much flesh. However, most people feel less pain when getting a transverse lobe piercing than with a standard earlobe piercing. The inside of the earlobe consists of mostly fatty tissue and there are not many nerves in the path of the needle. It’s just slightly uncomfortable.

It is possible to stretch a healed transverse piercing. However, the stretching process must be done at a very slow rate due to the fact that there is much less tissue around the area of the piercing than with most other stretchable piercings. A transverse lobe piercing can also be done though earlobes that are already stretched. Most people who get their transverse done when they already have stretched lobes will have the piercer do it through flexible, thin, silicone tunnels. You can also get custom tunnel plugs made that have holes drilled into them to accommodate such a piercing. The second option looks amazing, but it is expensive and would be somewhat difficult to change on your own. Labret studs can also be used.

horizontal ear lobe piercing

Healing a transverse lobe piercing can be a fairly worry free process. Normally, most ear lobe piercings are very quick to heal, but transverse lobes often take longer to heal due to the longer fistula. Healing time can take around two to ten months. Just as with any new piercing, it is extremely important to follow your professional piercer’s aftercare regiment and guidelines. Abscesses are the most common problem with this particular piercing. Salt soaks are very important to the healing of the piercing because they help with drainage and abscess prevention. Avoidance of swimming and contact with makeup, hair products, or lotion are often recommended, and extra care should be taken when brushing hair or undressing.  Cell phone and head phone use on the side of the fresh piercing should be limited, and sleeping on a fresh piercing is not recommended. And as always, wash your hands before touching your piercings to avoid infections even after they are healed.

There is a greater portion of the barbell inside the ear so it is also important to wear jewelry that you are not sensitive too. Flexible PTFE or bioplast barbells and rings are a good option for this piercing. A straight barbell is most commonly worn with non attached earlobes and a curved barbell is generally used with attached lobes. A BCR or circular barbell of proper diameter must be used; this however will be less comfortable on someone with unattached ear lobes. There is also a risk of migration with this piercing, and jewelry that is too heavy is most often the cause. If you have questions about your jewelry, your piercer is a wonderful resource.

A “smiley” is a piercing of the thin strip of flesh that attaches the center of the upper lip to the gum plate.  This piece of flesh is called the upper lip frenulum, and the piercing itself is consequentially also known as “lip frenulum piercing” or alternatively “scrumper piercing.”

 scrumper upper lip frenulum piercing

Like most oral piercings, the smiley is performed with a hollow needle after the inside of the mouth has been properly disinfected.  For this type of piercing especially, using a professional piercer is essential to prevent injury to the soft tissues of the lip or gums.  Aftercare is much the same as that of tongue and lip piercings and will often include rinses with special mouthwash or sea salt solution.  Due to its placement in a very high-motion area, this particular piercing may require extra vigilance to lower the risk of migration or rejection.

For the most part, smiley piercings will be worn with circular barbells (either BCRs or horseshoes), but occasionally a small curved barbell can be seen.  Of course, the wearer may have to pull back their upper lip for you to know it’s there at all, a definite plus for those who enjoy having unnoticeable or “secret” piercings.

 smiley piercing horseshoe rings

The smiley has become more popular in recent years, but as a fairly modern piercing (first noticed in the 1990s after publication in a magazine) there are some areas where lip frenulum piercing is virtually unknown, or at least very rare.  It also falls under a variety of names (scrumper, rooster, glicker) depending on locale, making it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The rhino is a cartilage piercing done vertically through the tip of the nose.  Sometimes also referred to as a vertical nose tip piercing, the name “Rhino” comes from the piercing’s resemblance (particularly when tipped with a spike) to the nose of a rhinoceros.

 vertical nose tip piercing

There are two basic methods in which a piercing that would be referred to as a rhino is performed.  The first is very straight forward: piercing it through the nose’s end from underneath the tip and emerging through the top.  This is done with a standard piercing needle and is generally worn with a small curved barbell about the size of an eyebrow ring.  The second option is considerably trickier and involves the stretching of an existing septum piercing, which is then pierced through the healed fistula from inside and out through the top of the nose tip.  This style of Rhino piercing, though it gives a very similar look, is sometimes referred to as an inverted or reverse septril or “high septril” because of the methodology.

Aftercare for these piercings is very similar to that of any regular cartilage piercing, generally including sea salt soaks and gentle cleansing.  Due to the amount of cartilage being pierced through and the nature of its positioning, a Rhino make take slightly longer to initially heal, and care must be taken to avoid migration or rejection.

 small curved barbell body jewelry

Although this type of piercing has been performed in some tribal cultures, it wasn’t until after the year 2000 that westerners began showing up with Rhino piercings, many of the first doing so after trips to Africa or South America.  As such, the modern methods of performing a nose tip piercing have evolved fully only in the past few years across the US and Europe, making the rhino one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

If you know where your uvula is, you might be astounded to hear that it can actually be pierced, but that’s exactly what a uvula piercing is.  For those who don’t know, the uvula is that dangling extension of tissue at the back of your throat, right in between your tonsils.  Since there are no official names for this piercing other than a few pieces of regional slang common to the US and UK, the piercing itself is normally simply called “uvula piercing.”

Oral Piercing of the Uvula

The uvula piercing is one of the more dangerous piercings a person can get, because of the potential for gag reflexes kicking in during the piercing process.  Due to its sensitive nature, it’s highly recommended that those who get a uvula piercing go to an expert piercer, if possible, one who has done this type of piercing successfully before.  Other suggestions for minimizing risk include practicing how to subdue the gag reflex, and doing several dry runs with piercing clamps in which the piercer will mimic the pressure to the uvula that would be experienced during actual piercing.

The first known uvula piercings were done by piercer Jon Cobb in the mid 1990′s, and since that time a rash of urban legends has come into existence concerning many false risks involved in actually having the uvula pierced.  For the most part, the only major issues concerning health and piercing of the uvula are infection and depending on the person, snoring.  The uvula moves around quite a bit during swallowing actions of the throat, but as a part of the oral/digestive anatomy, it’s commonly removed and holds no major nerves.  Aftercare for uvula piercings may include gargling with salt water, and occasional cleansings with a toothbrush, and the jewelry generally worn is circular barbells and captives.

Ball Captive Rings

If you haven’t heard of uvula piercing or thought it was a hoax, it’s probably due to the many false rumors circulated about it.  It’s mysterious, slightly dangerous, and the subject of countless tall tales, which probably makes it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The ragnar piercing, also called a “deep snug,” is a modification of traditional snug piercing.  This is a piercing of the ear cartilage at about the point where the lobe blends into the helix, but unlike a regular snug piercing, the ragnar extends from the traditional snug point and goes through the cartilage of the helix (the ear’s outer rim) coming out the other side.  As a horizontal piercing, this makes it appear as though there is one ball at the inside ear rim and another resting on its outside edge.

Deep Snug Cartilage Piercing

Although modifications like the ragnar may have existed prior to its naming and exposure, the first formal photography of a deep snug piercing labeled with the name “ragnar” was published around 2002.  The piercing was shown on a man named Thure Ragnar Stedt, whom it was undoubtedly named for.

Because a ragnar piercing passes through such a large amount of cartilage at one of the crucial structural points in the ear, it often takes several months to heal completely and must be looked after carefully to avoid the perils of infection.  Some of the suggestions for aftercare when healing this piercing include not sleeping on your pierced side, sea salt soaks, and the avoidance of hair products for at least twelve weeks.  The jewelry most fitting for a ragnar is a barbell made of movable biocompatible material like bioplast or bioflex, because they are hypoallergenic and apply less pressure to the curvature of the ear than heavier solid materials.

Bioplast Barbell Body Jewelry

If you haven’t heard of the ragnar, it’s probably because of its rarity.  Although ragnar piercings have been around for about a decade, very few professional piercers can say they’ve performed more than one or two.  Almost everyone who sees one agrees though, that they love how interesting and different a ragnar looks, which probably makes it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The Ashley piercing, also often called by it’s more technical name, “inverse vertical labret,” is a modern lip piercing in which one end rests inside the mouth (normally in the area where a standard labret would fall) and the other end is visible in the center of the bottom lip.  Although there are variations of this piercing done in pairs or to the side of the lip, unlike most others of its kind, all of them are generally referred to by the same name.

Inverse Vertical Labret style lip piercing

There is little information directly available concerning how the Ashley piercing got it’s name, but it is suspected that as with many other contemporary piercings it came from either the piercer who invented it, or the first person to successfully wear it.  And although it is similar to both a vertical labret and a jestrum (named for the first woman to be seen with it, Jesika Bornsen), the Ashley has not been around as long as either of these piercings, and is likely an inventive modification of traditional vertical labrets.

As with other piercings that pass through the tissues of the lip itself, many professional piercers who are familiar with this type of piercing recommend the use of a curved barbell to lessen the risks of migration and rejection.  Healing time is usually longer for an Ashley as well, averaging anywhere from three to twelve months, due to the fact that it’s placed in an area of the lip more prone to irritation and jostling from movement.  Normally Ashley jewelry is purchased or modified by its wearers to have a flat disc or dome instead of an actual ball on the inside of the lip, and is done in either a 14 or 16 gauge.

curved barbells for Ashley Lip Piercings

If you haven’t heard of the Ashley, it’s probably because of it’s age!  This piercing is still in the stages of being perfected and standardized, so much so that many piercers who have been practicing for years have never even performed one.  It’s new, it’s interesting, it’s pretty to look at; it’s definitely one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The Nasallang, a tri-nasal piercing, is a piercing of all three major points on the nose at the same time: the left nostril, right nostril, and septum.  This is performed as a single piercing through all three places with the same needle and uses a single piece of barbell jewelry, kind of like an industrial, but for your nose.  Because the needle (and afterwards the jewelry itself) will have to pass through the upper portion of the nasal septum, a nasallang will usually be done lower on the nose than standard nostril piercings; placement will vary slightly depending on the individual shaping and extension of nasal cartilage.

What Nasallang Piercing Looks Like

What Nasallang Piercing Actually Is

This piercing was first invented and named in the 1990′s by famous California piercer Cliff Cadaver.  Like most contemporary piercings, the nasallang was first seen on a celebrity, the person that Cliff performed it on, Bobby Brady.  However, unlike most others of its kind, Mr. Brady’s name has clearly nothing to do with what the piercing itself is called.

The nasallang is normally pierced all at once with a single needle, but has been known here and there to be performed as separate piercings and later connected.  This method however is not recommended by most piercers who are familiar with this type of piercing, as small amounts of migration can occur during healing which then cause separate piercings not to line up properly.  The piercing is cared for like most other nasal piercings, but due to its nature will generally take a little bit longer to heal than a standard nasal piercing.  It also bares mentioning that to be a true nasallang and not just another tri-nasal piercing, it must be worn with a straight industrial style barbell.  And perhaps one of the most interesting things about a nasallang piercing, is that most who see it won’t realize that it’s a single piece and will instead assume that there are just two separate nostril piercings.  In this way, it’s almost like having a cool secret that only those close to you know.

Industrial Style Barbells for Nasallang Piercing

If you haven’t heard of the nasallang piercing, it’s probably because the piercing itself is still on the upswing.  Although it sounds amazing and cool, this is still not a mainstream piercing, which, to be perfectly honest, is exactly what makes it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The Marley is an oral piercing of what is called “the tongue web,” or more accurately, the frenulum linguae.  This is the thin strip of tissue underneath the tongue that connects it to the lower gum plate.  Most people can get this piercing fairly simply, however, due to the varying thicknesses and positions of the tissue, a small amount of persons will be unable to get a proper Marley piercing.

The Marley is considered a contemporary piercing because it first began popping up in the 1990′s, although little is known about the piercing’s specific origin or who exactly first applied the name “Marley” or “Marly” to tongue frenulum piercing.  It has been suggested in many circles that the name Marley is a reference to famous and celebrated rasta movement icon and reggae vocalist Bob Marley, and may represent freedom through the spoken word, as without the frenulum linguae, we would be unable to speak.

Ball Captives in Marley Sizes

For the most part, this type of piercing is recognized as having a higher than average rate of rejection, although initial healing is fairly quick at a mere two to ten weeks.  Due to the location and the shape of the frenulum itself, Marleys are usually done in a sixteen or eighteen gauge, and circulars or curved barbells are normally worn.  Although it has a reputation for being somewhat painful, tongue web piercing tends to have little associated issues as long as proper aftercare (consisting primarily of rinses) is followed to the letter.

Oral piercing Aftercare Solutions

If you haven’t heard of the Marley, it’s likely due to its ambiguity.  Though it claims to have been around since at least the mid nineties, tongue web piercing neglected to truly catch on until just the past few years.  And although piercers on the East and West coasts respectively may be aware of its existence or even small levels of popularity, many of those in the Central and Midwestern United States will be able to say that they have performed a Marley piercing less than a handful of times, making it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The daith is a piercing of the upper ear cartilage close to head.  This is one of the few piercings that has more than one placement (mostly due to the variations in cartilage shape from person to person) and is called by the same name in all of its orientations.  There are two primarily accepted positionings for a daith piercing, which are in the thin flap of cartilage where the helix meets the scalp, or more traditionally at the portion of the cartilage that crests between the tragus and rook areas of the ear.  In accordance with the piercing’s placement when it was first invented, a true daith must be placed in a very specific manner on the crest, so that one end of the jewelry appears to be emerging from within the ear canal.

Daith Ear Cartilage Piercing

This piercing gets its name from the Hebrew word Daath (or Daith), meaning “intelligence,” or “knowledge,” and was co-invented by famous piercer Erik Dakota and a female client, who rightfully drew the connection between a conduit placed in the ear and the filtering of wisdom.

Ball Captive Rings with colorful dangles

Daith piercings are most often done with a long, curved piercing needle, although they can sometimes be performed with a straight needle and a receiving tube.  These piercings generally take several months to heal entirely, and because of their location, extra care must be taken to prevent infection.  Once healed, circular or curved barbell jewelry of various types is most commonly worn.  Variations of the daith include its alternate placement mentioned above, and the less common “forward helix,” or horizontal daith.

16 gauge curved barbell body jewelry

If you haven’t heard of the daith piercing, it may be due to geography.  Even though this piercing was invented in 1992, it was first performed pretty strictly in California, and primarily the coastal region.  Also, like many other piercings of the inner ear cartilage, the daith didn’t experience a real surge of popularity until several years after its inception.  Even now the piercing is still in the process of becoming mainstream, which probably makes it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.